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LaChelle Drayton currently works for UnitedHealth Group as the Recruitment Manager for the Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity Center of Excellence. In her role, she is responsible for leading the enterprise college diversity, disabilities and military sourcing strategy, overseeing the enterprise signature partnerships (INROADS, MLT, Cristo Rey and more), aligning resources to support proactive pipelining efforts and serving as a subject matter expert in diversity/military recruitment strategies. She also manages 20 national partnerships (National Black MBA, Prospanica, ALFPA and more) across 7 regional markets.
LaChelle has over 20 years of experience in academics and human resources. She has worked at Cargill as a Sr University Recruitment Lead for Diversity, IBM as a Site Diversity/EEO Manager and at the University Of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering as the Associate Director of Academic Programs for Excellence in Engineering and Science.
LaChelle received her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Manufacturing from Iowa State University. She is an alumnus of UHG’s 2017 Emerging Leaders Program and 2016 Connections Mentor Program (1-on-1 Executive Mentorship.) LaChelle serves on the Prospanica’s National Corporate Advisory Committee. She is the Past-President for Minnesota’s Association of Colleges and Employers and for the past 10 years, LaChelle has been a member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s – Midwest Regional Scholarship Advisory Committee.
Mariana Veraza was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. She grew up in New Braunfels Texas and graduated from Canyon High School. She studied bilingual communications at the University of the Incarnate word and also has a Masters in Communication Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word as well. She has participated in many projects and worked in many internships while in school. While working on her masters degree she became part of the San Antonio Media Alliance and as part of her thesis she created a student chapter at the University of the Incarnate Word in order to help students become more involved in the Media Industry. This chapter has helped students gained real world experience through internships and the connections met through this group.
After graduation she accepted a job at Univision 41 in San Antonio as a Video Journalist. During her 3 years there she was able to become weekend anchor as well as receive 2 national Telly awards and an Emmy nomination.
She is now the anchor for the prime time weekly newscast. She received an Emmy Award last year for her coverage of the shooting at Sutherland Springs and this year she is nominated again for a story about a rare condition called “Cri Du Chat”
She is passionate about helping others and bringing awareness to the community about important issues. Serving the community is her upmost interest and responsibility.
Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez was born in Brownsville, Texas to a mother and father who instilled in her a love for both her culture and country. Her mother, Alicia Gonzalez, who passed away in late 2018 taught Rosie the importance of service to her community and the value of people in her life. After her father took ill, Rosie left her job as a Probation Officer in Austin, Texas to pursue her law degree at St. Mary’s University. Her mother requested that she pursue her education so they could access healthcare and resources for her father. (He died during her second year of law school.)
Rosie graduated from St. Mary’s University with her law degree in 2001. She practiced law for 16 years, becoming the only lawyer in South Texas to be certified as a Child Welfare Specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children In her law career, she represented hundreds of children who reside in foster care or the CPS system. She mentored several new attorneys, who went on to develop successful law careers. Rosie had a solo practice, where she committed to hard work and service to her clients. Rosie loves the law; this passion led her to running for judge in 2018 of County Court 13; a misdemeanor domestic violence court in Bexar County.
After a successful & victorious campaign, Rosie took the bench this month as the presiding judge of Bexar County Court at Law No. 13. She ran with three initiatives: 1) to create a drug court/ domestic violence specialty program that addresses the core issues that bring offenders into the courtroom; 2) to create a live feed into the courtroom which would allow victims to view the hearing without having to be physically present; and 3) to collaborate with UTSA’s Counseling Department to set up a therapeutic support for the victims of domestic violence. During the 2019 Texas Legislative Session, she co-authored HB 3529 which was sponsored by State Rep. Roland Gutierrez and Senator Jose Menendez. HB 3529 was signed into law by Gov. Abbott and mandates that a Specialty Drug Court be implemented within Bexar County Court at Law No. 13’s Domestic Violence Docket. Rosie recognizes the lack of resources in the community of San Antonio for our most vulnerable citizens. Further, she is aware that the most dangerous places in our city can exist in the home. She has dedicated her time on the bench to addressing the needs for an ever-increasing problem in our city.
In 2019, she has been honored as the PIONEER AWARD recipient by Bexar County Commissioners, awarded the POLITICAL ICON award by the PRIDE Center and is a nominee for the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. She is an assistant professor at St. Mary’s University Law School where she co-teaches the Child Welfare Law Seminar with tenured professor Ana Novoa, and teaches the Child Abuse & Domestic Violence Class at UTSA Downtown campus. Additionally, she is a featured writer for LA PRENSA TEXAS and is the author of their MANGUERA MEMORIES column; and a frequent guest speaker on the1Radio podcast hosted by Ms. Neka Cleaver.
Tuesdae Knight, recently named the President and CEO of SAGE – San Antonio Growth on the Eastside, has more than 15 years non-profit experience. Working for companies such as FedEx, the YMCA, and most recently with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, she has developed into a dynamic and forward-thinking leader. Tuesdae holds a BA from Tennessee State University and an MBA from Texas A&M International and is fluent in Spanish.
SAGE’s main responsibilities are to advocate for the citizens and businesses of the Eastside and champion small business development. Recently, they have launched the NALCAB equitable neighborhood development plan, they have awarded storefront grants to local businesses for façade improvements, and have held Eastside Business Briefings and Non-Profit Symposiums to provide progressive solutions to Eastside challenges. As a non-profit, SAGE receives funding from local, state and federal funding. Tuesdae has worked closely with the City of San Antonio officials and local business community leaders.
Mari Weymouth is a 50-year old San Antonio native, married to retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, Greg Weymouth, and has a daughter, Jasmine, and two step-sons, Aaron and Sonny. Currently, Mari has THREE major priorities:
1. Co-Founder of the iEmpower organization, with a mission of inspiring every woman to BE empowered and engaged, and to foster a culture of community.
2. Possesses over 15 years in the utility industry, and currently serves as Interim Vice President of the Office of Enterprise Business Planning & Execution Excellence at CPS Energy.
3. Currently in year 2 of 4 of her PhD in Leadership Studies program at Our Lady of the Lake University.
• First-generation college graduate
• BA with a concentration in Computer Science/Application Systems from St. Mary’s University
• MBA with a concentration in Finance from Our Lady of the Lake University
Mari is passionate about people and mentoring those that “meet her at the table”, focusing on accelerating individual performance and potential, ONE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME. Her hobbies include audiobooks and spending time with her family and three Yorkies; Mia, Wylie and Luigi.
Yorka Velasco-Caballero is a seasoned professional with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven leader with over 22 years of experience in the areas of sales, marketing, and business development. She is currently a Key Account Manager with Keurig Dr Pepper where she is responsible in driving commercial contracts in the West Region targeting Fortune 500 companies. In her previous roles at Avon Products and ACCO Brands, she lead high performing teams to best in sales, nationally.
Because of her passion for diversity and inclusion, she was selected to Target’s Women in Leadership Training, making her one of the youngest women to participate in this elite training program. That same passion continued to drive her work in advertising where, she developed strategic Hispanic programs implemented nationally for brands such as Coca-Cola®, Hasbro® and AOL® Latino
Yorka recently co-founded iEmpower, an organization with the mission to inspire, elevate and promote women through mentorship. She co-chairs the Women and Girls Development Fund for the San Antonio Area Foundation. She co-leads the Talent & Learning pillar for Keurig Dr Pepper Network of Executive Women. She was appointed an Angel for Texas Wall Street Woman and continues to be the driving force behind Prospanica’s Emerging Leadership Series (ELS), a program she co-authored and codeveloped. Her commitment to community has led her to facilitate, emcee and keynote at various events including the commencement address at University of Phoenix for 2018 graduating class.
Her article co-authored with Dr Lynda Cavazos on “Equitable Instruction: Cultivating and Building a System of Leadership Values for Middle Schoolers” will published in the Journal of the World Federation of Associations for Teacher Education this year.
Born in Oruro, Bolivia, she moved to the United States at 15 years of age with no previous knowledge of the English language. As the family settled in the small city of Topeka, KS, her father, a very strict engineer, required both Yorka and her younger brother to memorize five vocabulary words and their definitions in English every day. Very soon, she overcame the language barrier and began to excel in her classes. Yorka believes that the discipline her father and mother taught her was pivotal in her early successes. She continues to live and work with that same discipline which is visible in her work ethic. Her deep passion for people and service is what drives her work every day.
She calls San Antonio her home, where she lives with her husband Sam and her children Samuel and Isabella.
We want to thank all of our sponsors who made this event possible.